QUEENS, NY- Saturday’s early morning storm warning and deafening thunder felt like an omen to the uproar Sheck Wes caused later on that night at NYC’s Fool’s Gold Day Off 2018.  But the Harlem born headliner wasn’t the only one to incite mosh pits and madness at the Knockdown Center.  Talent at this year’s day long festival included an abundance of girl power, a splash of hardcore punk, and even early 2000s club throwbacks.  

Fool’s Gold, a Brooklyn based record label founded by Canadian DJ A-Trak and American producer Nick Catchdubs, is known for its Day Off festivals presented in cities across the globe.  Past lineups have included the likes of A$AP Rocky (New York ‘11), Young Thug (Miami ‘13), Travi$ Scott (Los Angeles ‘14), and more.  But big names just spice the festivals up- what makes Day Off truly worthwhile is the glimpse it offers into the underground scene.  

Fool's Gold DAY OFF NYC 8/11/18. Photo by Aubrey Wipfli (@aubreyy) for www.BlurredCulture.com.
Fool’s Gold DAY OFF NYC 8/11/18. Photo by Aubrey Wipfli (@aubreyy) for www.BlurredCulture.com.

Soundcloud rap is a controversial term in 2018.  Some use it as a jab at hip hop’s new wave, but others regard it as an important chapter in an artist’s success story.  Chance the Rapper is a graduate of the platform, and even after moving on to sold out arenas, he continues to vouch for it.  Just last summer, he made a personal call to founder Alex Ljung amidst rumors that the streaming site may be going under.

I’m with Chano on this one.  Regardless of what you want to call the new generation of rap, they need to be heard.  Standouts such as Comethazine, Hugo Joe, Guapdad4000, and Warhol.SS transformed the concert into a party and exuded an energy only matched by the thousands of screaming seventeen year olds in the audience.

Unfortunately, my favorite Soundcloud rapper of them all dropped out of the lineup.  Nineteen-year-old Yung Bans has dealt with his share of legal issues, and I couldn’t help but wonder whether or not his cancellation had to do with them.  Earlier this year, when a Twitter user questioned why Bans “always sounds like he records in his bedroom while his parents are sleeping,” Bans retorted, “N***** ‘cause I am I’m on house arrest.”


I was pleasantly surprised with the amount of female rappers to take the stage.  Although the mainstream might not know it, there is a whole world of women in the rap game that extends beyond Nicki Minaj and Cardi B.  Junglepussy, Bbymutha, Young Baby Tate, Chynna, and last minute addition Asian Doll defied double standards with provocative lyrics and proved why hip hop should make more space for girls who rap.

Day Off kept me on my feet with quick set changes- oh, and quick genre changes, too.  At first, I wasn’t sure how the rap-loving audience would receive punk rock band Show Me The Body, but by the end of their set, I was convinced they deserved their spot on the lineup.  The band’s intensity gave the crowd yet another prime excuse to open up mosh pits.

Fool's Gold DAY OFF NYC 8/11/18. Photo by Aubrey Wipfli (@aubreyy) for www.BlurredCulture.com.
Fool’s Gold DAY OFF NYC 8/11/18. Photo by Aubrey Wipfli (@aubreyy) for www.BlurredCulture.com.

Later, Dem Franchize Boyz brought it all the way back to 2001 with “Lean Wit It, Rock Wit It,” and even the photo pit lost it for a minute.  The duo made aged songs contemporary for the younger crowd by mixing them in with newer tracks. This worked particularly well when they faded “White Tee” (2004) into Migo’s “T-Shirt” (2017).  

After Sheck Wes sent the crowd into total mayhem, charged up concertgoers headed toward the official after party at Up & Down Nightclub in Chelsea.  I left Day Off with a fresh perspective and a few new songs on my playlists.  Sometimes, the best festivals are the ones that don’t have a fully star studded lineup.  They’re the ones that show you what you’ve been missing out on.

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Fool's Gold DAY OFF NYC 8/11/18. Photo by Aubrey Wipfli (@aubreyy) for www.BlurredCulture.com.
Fool's Gold DAY OFF NYC 8/11/18. Photo by Aubrey Wipfli (@aubreyy) for www.BlurredCulture.com.
Show Me The Body @ Fool's Gold DAY OFF NYC 8/11/18. Photo by Aubrey Wipfli (@aubreyy) for www.BlurredCulture.com.
Show Me The Body @ Fool's Gold DAY OFF NYC 8/11/18. Photo by Aubrey Wipfli (@aubreyy) for www.BlurredCulture.com.
Fool's Gold DAY OFF NYC 8/11/18. Photo by Aubrey Wipfli (@aubreyy) for www.BlurredCulture.com.
Fool's Gold DAY OFF NYC 8/11/18. Photo by Aubrey Wipfli (@aubreyy) for www.BlurredCulture.com.
Fool's Gold DAY OFF NYC 8/11/18. Photo by Aubrey Wipfli (@aubreyy) for www.BlurredCulture.com.
Fool's Gold DAY OFF NYC 8/11/18. Photo by Aubrey Wipfli (@aubreyy) for www.BlurredCulture.com.
Fool's Gold DAY OFF NYC 8/11/18. Photo by Aubrey Wipfli (@aubreyy) for www.BlurredCulture.com.
Fool's Gold DAY OFF NYC 8/11/18. Photo by Aubrey Wipfli (@aubreyy) for www.BlurredCulture.com.
Fool's Gold DAY OFF NYC 8/11/18. Photo by Aubrey Wipfli (@aubreyy) for www.BlurredCulture.com.
Fool's Gold DAY OFF NYC 8/11/18. Photo by Aubrey Wipfli (@aubreyy) for www.BlurredCulture.com.
Dem Franchize Boyz @ Fool's Gold DAY OFF NYC 8/11/18. Photo by Aubrey Wipfli (@aubreyy) for www.BlurredCulture.com.
Dem Franchize Boyz @ Fool's Gold DAY OFF NYC 8/11/18. Photo by Aubrey Wipfli (@aubreyy) for www.BlurredCulture.com.
Dem Franchize Boyz @ Fool's Gold DAY OFF NYC 8/11/18. Photo by Aubrey Wipfli (@aubreyy) for www.BlurredCulture.com.
Dem Franchize Boyz @ Fool's Gold DAY OFF NYC 8/11/18. Photo by Aubrey Wipfli (@aubreyy) for www.BlurredCulture.com.
Yung Baby Tate @ Fool's Gold DAY OFF NYC 8/11/18. Photo by Aubrey Wipfli (@aubreyy) for www.BlurredCulture.com.
Yung Baby Tate @ Fool's Gold DAY OFF NYC 8/11/18. Photo by Aubrey Wipfli (@aubreyy) for www.BlurredCulture.com.
Fool's Gold DAY OFF NYC 8/11/18. Photo by Aubrey Wipfli (@aubreyy) for www.BlurredCulture.com.
Fool's Gold DAY OFF NYC 8/11/18. Photo by Aubrey Wipfli (@aubreyy) for www.BlurredCulture.com.
Bbymutha @ Fool's Gold DAY OFF NYC 8/11/18. Photo by Aubrey Wipfli (@aubreyy) for www.BlurredCulture.com.
Bbymutha @ Fool's Gold DAY OFF NYC 8/11/18. Photo by Aubrey Wipfli (@aubreyy) for www.BlurredCulture.com.
Junglepussy @ Fool's Gold DAY OFF NYC 8/11/18. Photo by Aubrey Wipfli (@aubreyy) for www.BlurredCulture.com.
Junglepussy @ Fool's Gold DAY OFF NYC 8/11/18. Photo by Aubrey Wipfli (@aubreyy) for www.BlurredCulture.com.
Comethazine @ Fool's Gold DAY OFF NYC 8/11/18. Photo by Aubrey Wipfli (@aubreyy) for www.BlurredCulture.com.
Comethazine @ Fool's Gold DAY OFF NYC 8/11/18. Photo by Aubrey Wipfli (@aubreyy) for www.BlurredCulture.com.
Asian Doll @ Fool's Gold DAY OFF NYC 8/11/18. Photo by Aubrey Wipfli (@aubreyy) for www.BlurredCulture.com.
Asian Doll @ Fool's Gold DAY OFF NYC 8/11/18. Photo by Aubrey Wipfli (@aubreyy) for www.BlurredCulture.com.
Warhol.SS @ Fool's Gold DAY OFF NYC 8/11/18. Photo by Aubrey Wipfli (@aubreyy) for www.BlurredCulture.com.
Warhol.SS @ Fool's Gold DAY OFF NYC 8/11/18. Photo by Aubrey Wipfli (@aubreyy) for www.BlurredCulture.com.
Chynna @ Fool's Gold DAY OFF NYC 8/11/18. Photo by Aubrey Wipfli (@aubreyy) for www.BlurredCulture.com.
Chynna @ Fool's Gold DAY OFF NYC 8/11/18. Photo by Aubrey Wipfli (@aubreyy) for www.BlurredCulture.com.
Guapdad4000 @ Fool's Gold DAY OFF NYC 8/11/18. Photo by Aubrey Wipfli (@aubreyy) for www.BlurredCulture.com.
Guapdad4000 @ Fool's Gold DAY OFF NYC 8/11/18. Photo by Aubrey Wipfli (@aubreyy) for www.BlurredCulture.com.
Lou the Human @ Fool's Gold DAY OFF NYC 8/11/18. Photo by Aubrey Wipfli (@aubreyy) for www.BlurredCulture.com.
Lou the Human @ Fool's Gold DAY OFF NYC 8/11/18. Photo by Aubrey Wipfli (@aubreyy) for www.BlurredCulture.com.
Warhol.SS @ Fool's Gold DAY OFF NYC 8/11/18. Photo by Aubrey Wipfli (@aubreyy) for www.BlurredCulture.com.
Warhol.SS @ Fool's Gold DAY OFF NYC 8/11/18. Photo by Aubrey Wipfli (@aubreyy) for www.BlurredCulture.com.
Guapdad4000 @ Fool's Gold DAY OFF NYC 8/11/18. Photo by Aubrey Wipfli (@aubreyy) for www.BlurredCulture.com.
Guapdad4000 @ Fool's Gold DAY OFF NYC 8/11/18. Photo by Aubrey Wipfli (@aubreyy) for www.BlurredCulture.com.
Sheck Wes @ Fool's Gold DAY OFF NYC 8/11/18. Photo by Aubrey Wipfli (@aubreyy) for www.BlurredCulture.com.
Sheck Wes @ Fool's Gold DAY OFF NYC 8/11/18. Photo by Aubrey Wipfli (@aubreyy) for www.BlurredCulture.com.
World’s Fair @ Fool's Gold DAY OFF NYC 8/11/18. Photo by Aubrey Wipfli (@aubreyy) for www.BlurredCulture.com.
World’s Fair @ Fool's Gold DAY OFF NYC 8/11/18. Photo by Aubrey Wipfli (@aubreyy) for www.BlurredCulture.com.
Bbymutha @ Fool's Gold DAY OFF NYC 8/11/18. Photo by Aubrey Wipfli (@aubreyy) for www.BlurredCulture.com.
Bbymutha @ Fool's Gold DAY OFF NYC 8/11/18. Photo by Aubrey Wipfli (@aubreyy) for www.BlurredCulture.com.
Fool's Gold DAY OFF NYC 8/11/18. Photo by Aubrey Wipfli (@aubreyy) for www.BlurredCulture.com.
Fool's Gold DAY OFF NYC 8/11/18. Photo by Aubrey Wipfli (@aubreyy) for www.BlurredCulture.com.
Junglepussy @ Fool's Gold DAY OFF NYC 8/11/18. Photo by Aubrey Wipfli (@aubreyy) for www.BlurredCulture.com.
Junglepussy @ Fool's Gold DAY OFF NYC 8/11/18. Photo by Aubrey Wipfli (@aubreyy) for www.BlurredCulture.com.
Hugo Joe @ Fool's Gold DAY OFF NYC 8/11/18. Photo by Aubrey Wipfli (@aubreyy) for www.BlurredCulture.com.
Hugo Joe @ Fool's Gold DAY OFF NYC 8/11/18. Photo by Aubrey Wipfli (@aubreyy) for www.BlurredCulture.com.
Comethazine @ Fool's Gold DAY OFF NYC 8/11/18. Photo by Aubrey Wipfli (@aubreyy) for www.BlurredCulture.com.
Comethazine @ Fool's Gold DAY OFF NYC 8/11/18. Photo by Aubrey Wipfli (@aubreyy) for www.BlurredCulture.com.
Sheck Wes @ Fool's Gold DAY OFF NYC 8/11/18. Photo by Aubrey Wipfli (@aubreyy) for www.BlurredCulture.com.
Sheck Wes @ Fool's Gold DAY OFF NYC 8/11/18. Photo by Aubrey Wipfli (@aubreyy) for www.BlurredCulture.com.

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